President Joe Biden held a truly disastrous off-the-cuff press conference Thursday night, spurred by a damning special counsel report from Robert Hur on Biden’s unauthorized retention of classified documents.
While Hur said no criminal charges were warranted, his report included the devastating argument that it would be hard to convict the president given that “Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview with him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”
The technically exonerating report was so personally damaging to the president that even liberal outlets seemed aghast, and that was before the truth about Biden's mental unsteadiness and clear lack of command was revealed live for all to see at the hastily called press conference.
It's worth recalling how tax-funded PBS previously tried to deny the President's obvious memory loss. The weekly political roundtable Washington Week with The Atlantic had previously mentioned concerns over Biden’s age and infirmity -- but only to assure viewers that Biden remained on top of things, despite the Republican criticism.
Journalist Mark Leibovich of The Atlantic huffily came to the defense of the octogenarian president on September 1, 2023, leading to this exchange:
Leibovich: Can I just actually just point out, though, that, I mean, it’s not just making an issue of Biden’s age, it’s lying, it’s saying he’s senile, saying he’s demented, saying he’s out of it. I mean, I think it’s important to sort of state for a fact that a lot of these are just --
Goldberg: Right. Mentally, he’s quite acute.
Leibovich: It seems like it.
Does it now?
The September 8, 2023, Washington Week also addressed Biden’s “mental acuity,” but again in defense of the Democratic president’s vigor.
Franklin Foer, The Atlantic: So on the mental acuity part, Nikki Haley’s talked about giving a mental acuity test for presidents. I’m sure Biden would ace that test.